Monday, March 22, 2010

15 States Public Sector Forum

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB)-A three-day workshop for the Civil Service in West African states was held from 15 to 17 March 2010 at the Paradise Suites Hotel, Kololi. The forum gathered participants from 5 West African countries and was held under the theme "Performance and Results-Based Management in the African Agencies - Implementation Strategies, Challenges and Practical Solutions".
The forum was organised jointly by African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD), the Islamic Research and Training Institute (ORTI), the Personnel Management Office (PMO) in the Gambia, and the Management Development Institute (MDI).
Dr. Njogu Bah the Secretary General and head of the civil service told the participants that the forum had come at the right time, as it coincided with the execution of the Civil Service Reform Programme approved by President Yahya Jammeh.
According to Dr. Bah, the Gambia government recognised the role of the civil service in national development, and that the Gambian civil service must undergo reforms that will transform it into an organisation that enables the government to deliver.
Mr. Bah noted that the PRSP II recognised the attainment of the goals of Vision 2020 and that the country's medium term plan depends to a large extent on the performance of public sector institutions.
He stated that a public service culture in modern times requires values of fair play, efficiency and accountability.
"Without this mindset, and without a commitment to professional standards, resource management, resource mobilization, and social interventions, reforms and development cannot be effectively executed for efficiency service delivery.
"My own commitment to the theme of this workshop is immeasurable, given my critical task of ensuring that public servants are effective and are accountable in the execution of their duties", he added.
Dr. Bah commended CAFRAD for its support in training public servants, adding that such capacity building will remain a key factor in the priority projects for civil service reforms in the country.
He urged all institutions to work out a framework for an efficient bureaucracy and management and to target sound training programs and sensitisation on the culture of performance and results-based management.
The Permanent Secretary PMO and chairman of the MDI board of governors, Omar G Sallah, said the theme of the workshop is timely "at this stage of our socio-economic transformation" and called "for discipline and dedication to service and optimal utilisation of state resources to achieve our development aspirations".
In the private sector, he said, companies have the obligation to submit a balance sheet every year, showing their achievements and results, as measured against the overall goals and objectives of the company.
According to Mr. Sallah, such an obligation should also be essential for central government entities and parastatal organisations.
He pointed out that for public-funded international development institutions and donor agencies such as the Islamic Development Bank, USAID, OECD, UNDP, World Bank etc, accountability is required in all their operations, and there is regular evaluation of performance carried out to ensure project success.
These institutions now increasingly resort to methods and strategies of PRBM, he pointed out.
The Director-General MDI, Dr. Jainaba ML Kah, said that her institution is the main training institution in public sector management and administration, adding that it has been a major player in President Jammeh's Public Sector Reform Agenda.
Professor Muhammadou M.O. Kah, vice chancellor University of The Gambia (UTG), spoke of engaging "in the design of smarter organisations, re-architecture of institutional arrangements for performance and results-based management".
He also spoke at length about the importance of the workshop and its theme.

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